For two days at the end of August we for a Couples’ Retreat up in the mountains in Rugovë, which is just West of the city of Peja and very close to the border with Montenegro. We were just one of seven couples from our church, Rebirth of Kosova, that made the two hour journey to this stunning location for the retreat.
Our time was spent in worship and fellowship with the other couples and discussing the importance of marriage from a Christian perspective.
He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favour from the Lord.
It was tempting for everyone to agree with this verse from Proverbs immediately (almost an “Of course that’s how I feel about you Dear” sort of response), but it was important to look at how each spouse was a blessing to the other. We spent some time sharing with each other how our spouse is a blessing to us and it was interesting to hear from other couples, some who had been married a lot longer than us and others not as long.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
The verse from James confirms that marriage is a gift from God, and in the evening of the first day we shared testimonies both of how we each came to faith and how we met our spouse. Again each testimony was different but the theme running through each one was that God was in control in each person’s life and each couple’s marriage. As well as sharing how our husband/wife is a blessing to us we also were challenged to share just one way in which we demonstrate our love for them. Again, each person was able to share something different to everyone else in the group giving us an opportunity to both understand and learn from each other.
On the second day of the retreat we were asked to think about John’s description of Christ’s relationship with the Church as a marriage: Christ the Groom and the Church His Bride. We are called to behave and love in the same way as Christ and the Church.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
After the short teaching and discussion time we were challenged as individual couples to go and spend up to two hours answering and discussing a list of questions that Pastor Jeton had prepared. Some of the questions were very provocative but we were encouraged to be honest with each other and to approach the task with patience, honesty and understanding and follow the questions with prayer.
The setting was perfect for a retreat, there is no mobile phone signal or wireless connection so we were able to focus completely on the task at hand. It was also nice to get away from the heat in Gjakovë as the mountains are very cool.
Everyone who went on the retreat expressed a desire to meet regularly as couples for fellowship and prayer so from next month we will be organising a monthly couples’ dinner for that purpose, the first will be on Tuesday 20th September at 6pm. We will not be responsible for any teaching at these dinners as we have only been married for two years but we will be responsible for organising the dinners, so please pray for us as we take on this new ministry.